I’m trying to remember when I first started to have some hope that my body would be able to function at a higher level than it was currently. The staff were getting me up daily in a monster of a wheelchair. They would use a Hoyer lift to transfer me in and out of the wheelchair. In physical therapy they would help me stand and sit down on the platform where I would lay down to stretch and exercise my legs. I could not put weight on my right leg because of the 2 bones broken in my ankle and had a very large, hard, and cumbersome boot on.
I do not remember exactly where in my stay at Mirabella that they had me standing up under my own volition, but think it was about the 7-8 weeks. The physical therapist rolled me up to a bar and asked me to stand up. I hesitated, thinking that I was unable to do it. He insisted. I remember putting my left hand on the bar and with some effort was able to stand. Mindful of my right ankle, I did not put any weight on the right side. I then remember thinking, “I did it!” It was a transformative moment for me. I knew then, that I could get better than I was in that moment. It gave me hope.
Such a small thing, but so big for me. I did not know what the end game would be, but I was motivated and worked hard. The days that I felt like I couldn’t do it, I could do it for my husband and our daughters. They deserved the best out of me. I deserved the best out of me, although I was not quite there with “me” on a regular basis.
I have so much for which to be grateful. I have always felt it was important to recognize and acknowledge my good fortune in this lifetime – to express my gratitude for all the big and little miracles in my life. Even in the beginning, when I was transferred to the SNF, I consciously took note of my blessings and expressed gratitude in silent prayer or meditation. I was not alone when I had my stroke- so I had help right away, it affected my right side not my left. (I an left handed). My cognition was intact, I could speak and be understood, I was actively involved in my care. And- I had an amazing and supportive family. Don is my rock. Good friends that have been tried and true. I continue, almost on a daily basis, taking stock of my good fortunes and voice gratitude. I some times write it down or simply and silently acknowledge it internally.
At least 10-12 years ago, I was involved in a group art project. I also did some writings for the project. Following is a piece I wrote on gratitude.
Gratitude for the Daily Little Miracles
Their is so much to be grateful for—We just need to open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts. Quiet moments, a special cup of tea, a quick embrace, an unexpected bouquet of flowers. Viewing a snowy mountain top, smelling fresh air after a rain, a glorious rainbow and imagining the “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow. Listening to a beautiful song. Receiving a phone call from a friend or loved one just to say “hello”.
I think about nature and how daily I have gratitude for the beauty and bounty of nature. How nature feeds and nourishes the body, mind, and spirit. I think about the four seasons and the gratitude I feel for the continual change and renewal of the seasons. Spring rain, spring flowers, the bounty of food springing up from the soil, a summer weeping willow, a summer setting sun, autumn colors – yellow, orange, red, and crimson, the crisp sunny days and the autumn storms, the magic of the first snow fall, snowy mountain tops in winter, a fine glass of wine by the fire on a wintry day.
Gratitude for the daily moment to moment. And then we realize we are living in an almost perpetual state of grace.